Education briefs for May 12

CIS students win animal kindness essay contest

Seventeen Craig Intermediate School sixth-graders were honored Tuesday with awards for essays they wrote for "Be Kind to Animals Week."

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"Be Kind to Animals Week" was established by the American Humane Association more than 80 years ago. Animal shelters and humane organizations throughout America still celebrate it.

The Animal Assistance League of Northwest Colorado designed an essay contest for interested elementary students to highlight the week. Students from 13 schools and 35 classes in Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, Jackson and Grand counties participated.

The kids shared their stories of the companionship, friendship and love that animals bring to their lives. The contest also focused on ways youths can be responsible pet owners by providing for their pet's needs. This includes spending quality time with their pets, learning the advantages and health benefits of spaying and neutering, providing vet care and vaccinations, grooming and exercise, pet identification and calling proper authorities when needing advice.

Of the 362 entries, CIS students won 17 awards, including:

Jared Horton -- first place

Dakota Lee -- second place

Matt Balderston -- fourth place

Robert Baker -- fourth place

Sheldon Hershiser -- fifth place

Honorable mention -- Jake Bingham, Lexi Brackett, Kayla Holmes, Kristina McLeslie, Ryder Seely, Taylor Brenner, Travis Hauger, Desirae Kunkle, Leslie Lopez, Jake Reed, Bow Richardson and Mikey Story.

Animal Assistance League representative Cindy Del Valle and Craig Animal Control Officer Kathie Johnson presented the awards. The students are members of Mary Blakeman's literacy classes.

Seventh-, ninth-graders eligible for scholarships

Colorado seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders have the opportunity to start planning for college academically and financially thanks to the recently renamed CollegeInvest Early Achievers Scholarship.

The program, formerly known as the College in Colorado Scholarship, is offered by CollegeInvest, Colorado's not-for-profit higher education financing resource. Students who previously applied for the College In Colorado Scholarship do not need to re-apply for the CollegeInvest Early Achievers Scholarship.

The CollegeInvest Early Achievers Scholarship encourages students to consider college a realistic and affordable option for their future. It prepares them for college by requiring that participants take pre-collegiate coursework while in high school and graduate with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA. The scholarship offers students from lower-income families the financial support they need to attend college, as long as they meet all of the scholarship requirements.

Students who qualify financially, take the required coursework and meet other requirements could qualify for up to $1,500 in assistance per year for up to five years at a qualifying Colorado college.

"The CollegeInvest Early Achievers Scholarship is a great incentive for students to start planning for college," said Rana Black of CollegeInvest. "Completing pre-collegiate coursework helps students lay a solid foundation for their future. While college may seem a long way off to these students, now is the time to start preparing."

To be eligible for the CollegeInvest Early Achievers Scholarship, students must:

  • Be a legal Colorado resident and qualify for in-state resident tuition.
  • Graduate with at least a 2.5 weighted cumulative GPA for all coursework completed in grades 9 through 12.
  • Take selected pre-collegiate coursework throughout their high school career.
  • Qualify for the Federal Pell Grant upon enrollment in college.

The application deadline for current ninth-graders is June 1. The deadline for eighth-graders is June 1, 2008, and seventh-graders have until June 1, 2009, to apply.

To download the application, or for further information on rules and requirements, visit www.collegeinvest.org or call 1-800-448-2424.

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